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INTERVIEW: Rob Minkoff was nervous to work with Stephen Colbert

Some of you may have watched the cartoons as kids, but now this brainy dog and his boy are back to entertain a whole new generation of curious kids. Watch our interview with director Rob Minkoff to find out why he felt so intimidated by this project.

Segments of Peabody’s Improbable History first appeared in the 1950s and early 1960s as part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Now, Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the beagle and his adopted human son, Sherman (Max Charles), have a 3D movie of their own.

Man Candy Mondays: Ty Burrell >>

We sat down with the film’s director, Rob Minkoff (The Lion King), to find out if he felt any pressure about re-creating these beloved cartoon characters.

“Of course. I wanted to be sure to be as faithful to the originals as possible. For us, it was a big decision to cast someone to re-create Mr. Peabody’s voice. The original had such a specific quality; it’s quite memorable to those who have seen it. Rather than try to be a slavish replica of that, we wanted to find the right voice for this new incarnation.”

We thought Burrell was a fantastic choice and the director agreed, adding, “He was amazing.”

Given that he directed The Lion King and the Stewart Little franchise, we wanted to know about Minkoff’s love for animals.

“I particularly love talking animals, but you don’t see them wandering around too often,” he said. Uh, we think that’s a good thing.

Here’s what the 76th generation descendant of Chinese philosopher Confucius had to say about working with Stephen Colbert.

“He was awesome, I’m a giant fan of his, I love his show. I was very excited to work with him, but I was nervous. Here’s a man that, by all rights, based on just his talents, could be a terrible person.”

The good news? “It turned out just the opposite. He’s the loveliest, most generous, warm family man you could imagine. It was just a pleasure to work with him,” Minkoff said.

We also asked Minkoff about the latest technical advances in animation.

“Making animated films has changed so much in the last 20 years, ever since Toy Story came out, which was the first CGI animated movie. So many movies are made in this technique and it’s incredible,” he said.

Watch our video to find out which person Minkoff would love to meet if he could travel back in time in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman also features the voices of Ariel Winter, Allison Janney and Leslie Mann, and opens in theaters on March 7.

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